Does Islam prohibit Muslim women from holding key positions in the state?

31 Aug

1. Islam does not deprive women of the right to be appointed in key positions in the state. A Muslim woman has the right to be appointed in posts that suit her nature, experience and qualifications. The Saying of the Prophet which some Muslim scholars considered as being a prohibitive rule against women being appointed in key positions was: "Unsuccessful shall be those who are ruled by a woman". This referred to the daughter of Kisra, the Emperor of Persia, whom the Persians had crowned as their ruler. This Saying was misinterpreted by some jurists who believed that it applied to all women in all high positions. It behooves us to remember that in Sura 27 of the Qur’an, the Queen of Sheba was praised for her wisdom and discretion. This praise indicates the extent of Islam’s respect for a woman who was the queen of her country.
2. Many Muslim jurists in different eras regarded women who had careers or who were engaged in any activity with respect and admiration. The religious leader Ibn Hazm considered that women had the right to be rulers of a state. The famous Islamic scholar Abu Hanifa was of the same opinion as Ibn Hazm. As for the religious leader Ibn Jareer Al-Tabari, he declared that a woman is entitled to be a judge in all matters that are judged by a man with no exceptions. It has also been reported that the second caliph, ‘Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, appointed Al-Shafa’e, daughter of Abdullah Al Maghzoomiyya as a judge of the prices and the weights and measures used in the market of the city, and this religious and civil post demanded experience and acuity.
3. Although Islam does not deprive women of holding key positions in the state if they are qualified, women should not neglect their primary responsibilities towards their families, namely their husbands and children, since the family is the foundation of society, and the destruction of the family institution leads to the destruction of the whole society. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary for a woman who is successful in her career to attend to all her responsibilities and duties in her home, as a wife and a mother, for the welfare of her family and for that of society in general.

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